Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March: picture update 2 of 2

This is the other side of the potato bin (you could see from views of the Asparagus Bed, in Update 1 of 2). This is seriously ghetto, I know, but it should hold the taters in and allow me to pile some serious amounts of soil on the plants as they grow, which should produce a lot more taters. When I read about it last year, there were experiments being done on the best varieties for this method of planting...and I thought it was the small ones, and not the russets...but I can't remember! I couldn't find the link, but if I do, I will post it. There is another row of potato bins in the works soon....but this is the earlies and my first attempt at building them.
This is just one of the longer sprouts poking out of the soil. They are planted in a tilled bed, rather shallowly, because I will be dumping soil on them as they grow, and they will hopefully produce spuds at this level and above. This is actually the most important part of the potato plant, because this sprout is forming the main stem, that the potatoes grow from (directly above the cut pieces that are planted.) From this level and above, is where the spuds form, so it is important to continue to pile the dirt on and keep the "eyes" reaching for light. I believe, the theory that makes the potato bins work, is by keeping this covered, and reaching for light, you lengthen greatly, the amount of plant that is under the soil, and keep it striving to produce green leaves for food....but as long as it can survive on the nutrients of the planted tuber, it should have the energy to get much larger for me, and produce greater yields...in theory.....that is the way I understand it. For this reason, I will be throwing my bagged humus on them, until I can get a truck load of compost. I am going to try to keep them from getting real leaves by burying them and withholding fertilizer until the last possible moment (when it starts to produce real leaves). And even then, a lower dose of Nitrogen, might be a good idea until later in the season, when it really needs the full canopy and switches it's focus to maturing the tubers it already has produced. It will be very interesting to see how the theory works and what helps it work.... =)

here are some spud links:

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